Kenneth Ratz Jr.
Captain Kenneth (Ken) Ratz Jr., (USNR) of Melrose, Florida passed away January 2, 2017.
Kenneth is survived by Phyllis, his wife of 61 years, and daughters: Catherine Rideout (Henry), Laurie Thomas (Michael), Linda Ratz-Thompson (Rocky) and Brenda MacGibbon (Todd Dixon). Ken is survived by grandchildren: Matthew Rideout, Amanda Khansa, Jacob MacGibbon, Jared MacGibbon and Katarina Thomas and great-grandchildren: Isabelle Khansa and Amelia Khansa. Ken is also survived by a brother Robert Ratz and sister Evelyn Dykeman, three nieces and three nephews. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth (Tom) M. Ratz Sr. and Marianne (Mary) Galka Ratz, and his nephew Stephen Ratz.
Kenneth was born in New York City on April 3, 1930, and lived his childhood years in The Bronx. Ken joined the Navy at age 18 and served during the Korean Conflict. He completed his GED while in the Navy, often studying into the wee hours in his bunk. Ken was stationed in Jacksonville at the time he left active duty, but remained in the Reserves. Ken then attended Jacksonville Jr. College while working at Sears.
In 1956, Ken received a B.S. in Business Administration from UF, and was then commissioned an Ensign. He was called to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and retired as a Captain in 1987.
It was through a co-worker at Sears that Ken met the love of his life, Phyllis Wineman. They were married in 1955 in Jacksonville where they raised their daughters.
Ken began his sales career with ITE in Jacksonville, withstanding multiple mergers and acquisitions, and finally retiring under Siemens-Allis. Ken retired to Melrose, then St. Aug. Beach, where he was very active with the St. Anastasia Church, then Flagler Beach and Fruitland Park before finally returning to Melrose.
Ken's retirement years were spent caring for his father and both in-laws, substitute teaching and helping the elderly in his community. Ken was an active member of St. William Catholic Church of Keystone Hts., and served as a sponsor to candidates in the RCIA Program.
Ken enjoyed taking walks with his beloved wife, often along the seashore in the early evening. Ken believed in keeping his mind and body fit throughout his entire life.
Ken was able to spend Christmastime with family, seeing all his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren one last time before his departure from this earth. Ken served as a strong patriarch and role model for the family.
A Vigil for the Deceased (Wake-Viewing) will be held Sun. Jan. 8th 4 to 6 pm at St William Catholic Church in Keystone Hts. 275 Satsuma St. A Funeral Mass will be held on Mon., Jan. 9th at 11:00 am at St William followed by a graveside service at Eliam Cemetery, 821 S.R 21, Melrose. Arrangements are under the care of Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home, 340 E. Walker Dr., Keystone Heights, FL 32656. 352-473-3176. www.jonesgallagherfh.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital